NBC Sports Group Will Be All Over 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

For the third straight year, every NHL Stanley Cup postseason game will be aired nationally across the platforms of the NBC Sports Group. Utilizing NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NHL Network as well as streaming on the NBC Sports Live Extra app, fans will be able to watch every single playoff game from the first round into the Stanley Cup Finals.

With a new format this year that emphasizes divisional rivalries in the first two rounds, it should provide some new excitement to what has already been very exciting postseasons for the sport.

Top three finishers in each division automatically qualify for the playoffs. Two Wild Cards from each conference then will be assigned as four seeds and then dispersed to play the division winners. It will be quite interesting to see.

The first round is where the local telecasts will have exclusivity in the local markets and CNBC, NBCSN and NHL Network will be blacked out. NBC telecasts will be seen nationally including in the local markets.

Starting in the Conference Semifinals and through to the Finals, NBC Sports Group telecasts will be exclusive and there will be no local telecasts.

Calling the Finals will be the great Doc Emrick, Ed Olczyk and Pierre “Tootsie” McGuire.

In the studio for the playoffs will be hosts Liam McHugh, Russ Thaler and Kathryn Tappen. Analysts will be Mike Milbury, Keith Jones, Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter. As long as NBC keeps Erik Kusilias away from the NHL, it should be excellent viewing.

We have the NBC Sports Group details below.

2014 NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS – ONE GOAL

Every Stanley Cup Playoff Game to be Televised Nationally for Third Straight Year
NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NHL Network to Carry Games
New Playoff Format Allows for Brackets for Fans; Emphasis on Division Rivals Prior to Conference Finals
NBC Sports Live Extra
to Live Stream All Games Airing on NBC, Plus All Games Airing on NBCSN and CNBC via “TV Everywhere”
NBC Sports Regional Networks to Air Live Coverage of First-Round Games & Comprehensive Local Team Coverage
NBC & NBCSN Combine to Cover Stanley Cup Final for Ninth Straight Year

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 2, 2014 – For the third consecutive year, every NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game will be presented nationally across the platforms of the NBC Sports Group. During April, May and June, NBC Sports Group will televise as many as 105 playoff games and possibly more than 260 hours of programming across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC (in primetime), and NHL Network. NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream all games on NBC, as well as all games airing on NBCSN and CNBC via “TV Everywhere.”

Locally, NBC Sports Regional Networks will surround the Blackhawks (Comcast SportsNet Chicago), Bruins (Comcast SportsNet New England), Flyers* (Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia), Sharks (Comcast SportsNet California), and Capitals* (Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic)with in-depth live-event news coverage. NBCSports.com will provide comprehensive online coverage of the playoffs with online-only video, contributions from Comcast SportsNet insiders, and constant news updates from ProHockeyTalk.
*Have not yet qualified for the playoffs

NEW PLAYOFF FORMAT FEATURES EMPHASIS ON DIVISION RIVALS PRIOR TO CONFERENCE FINALS

The NHL is employing a new playoff format for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs that allows for a fixed bracket and emphasizes division rivals in the first two rounds. Following is a breakdown of the official format:

  • The top three finishers in each Division automatically qualify and are designated No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds. Among the remaining teams in each Conference, the two teams with the best records qualify as Wild Cards and are designated No. 4 seeds.
  • The first two rounds are divisional brackets. No. 1 plays No. 4, and No 2. plays No. 3, with winners advancing to play each other.
  • Within each Conference, the Wild Card team with the better record will be assigned to the bracket of the Divisional leader with the lesser record.
  • Home-ice advantage through the first two rounds goes to the higher seeded team, regardless of regular-season records.
  • For the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Final, home-ice advantage goes to the team with the better regular-season record

FIRST ROUND

Every first-round Stanley Cup Playoff game will be televised on a national platform.

In order to televise as many as four games on a given day/night, the NBC Sports Group will utilize NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and the NHL Network to carry first-round games.

NBCSN will be the primary home of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, offering coverage of one or two games virtually every night of the first round. NBC will present exclusive afternoon coverage during the weekends of April 19-20 and 26-27.

CNBC and NHL Network will also provide live coverage in primetime. Games airing on NBCSN, CNBC and the NHL Network will be subject to local blackouts in the first round.

SECOND ROUND

NBC Sports Group’s Stanley Cup Playoff exclusivity originates with the second round. Beginning in the second round and continuing through the Stanley Cup Final, all games will air exclusively on NBC, NBCSN, or CNBC.

NBCSN will serve as the primary home for second-round coverage, offering one or two games virtually every night. When necessary, CNBC will provide live coverage in primetime, although more infrequently than in the first round. NBC will present exclusive afternoon coverage during the weekend of May 3-4.

CONFERENCE FINALS

NBC and the NBCSN will provide exclusive coverage of the Conference Finals. NBC will broadcast Saturday afternoon games on May 17-18, and on Saturday, May 24 at 8 p.m. ET in primetime. The remaining games from both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals will be televised exclusively on NBCSN.

STANLEY CUP FINAL

For the eighth consecutive year, NBC and NBCSN will provide exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final. NBC will broadcast Game 1, Game 4, and Games 5-7 (if necessary), with NBCSN televising Games 2-3. Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will call the Stanley Cup Final.

STUDIO COVERAGE

Robust pre-game, post-game and intermission studio programming throughout the 2014 NHL postseason will originate from NBC Sports Group’s state-of-the-art International Broadcast Center located in Stamford, Conn., except during the Stanley Cup Final, when the studio will be live from the game sites.

During the first round, NBC Sports Group will operate two studio shows. On most weeknights, fans can expect NHL studio programming for games airing on both NBCSN and CNBC, sometimes simultaneously. NHL Live will usually begin one hour prior to game time, with post-game coverage airing immediately after the final game of the night.

NHL Live, NBC Sports Group’s pre- and post-game studio show, will feature a combination of hosts Liam McHugh, Russ Thaler and Kathryn Tappen, and analysts and former players Mike Milbury, Keith Jones, Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter.

ENCORES

Beginning on Thursday, April 17, and continuing nearly every morning throughout the playoffs, NBCSN will air cut-down versions of the previous night’s most exciting game of the night. Encores will air daily at 7 a.m. ET.

COMPREHENSIVE LOCAL COVERAGE

Through the NBC Sports Regional Networks, comprehensive coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be provided daily via NBC Sports’ lineup of Comcast SportsNet RSNs, available in more than 50 million U.S. households. Comcast SportsNet serves the hometown fans of the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals. In-depth coverage for those teams advancing to the postseason includes exclusive regional coverage of first-round games, pre- and post-game shows and extensive on-line coverage via Comcast SportsNet’s team of NHL Insiders.

For teams that advance past the first round, NBC Sports Regional Networks will deliver extensive pre- and post-game coverage as well as breaking news and analysis throughout each team’s playoff run.

NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA COVERAGE

NBC Sports Live Extra — the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will stream all Stanley Cup Playoff games that air on NBC, NBCSN, and CNBC, including comprehensive streaming coverage of the Stanley Cup Final. The vast majority of games will be live streamed via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play. Games airing on:

  • NBC will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra;
  • NBCSN will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs;
  • CNBC will live stream exclusively through NBC Sports Live Extra via “TV Everywhere.”

That is all.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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